Cops in Istanbul have launched a manhunt for a gunman who killed at least 39 people, many of them foreigners, at a nightclub packed with New Year’s revellers, in an attack officials described as a terrorist act.
The gunman shot his way into the Reina nightclub at around 1:15am local time (10.15pm Irish time), just over an hour into the new year, killing a police officer and a civilian as he entered before opening fire at random inside.
Some people jumped into the Bosphorus river to save themselves and were rescued by police. Witnesses described diving under tables as the assailant walked around spraying bullets from an automatic rifle.
The attack shook NATO member Turkey as it tries to recover from a failed July coup and a series of deadly bombings in cities including Istanbul and the capital Ankara, some blamed on the so-called Islamic State and others claimed by Kurdish militants.